Tuesday 10:00 PM on ABC (Returning Fall 2017)

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S01E10: "The Bridge"


First, I apologize for the lateness of this review (and for the shortness of it). I was busy writing my new James Wolk biography. Second, I liked and disliked different aspects of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s mid-season finale. 

In essence, "The Bridge" did what I expected it to; it circled back around to the Centipede storyline that was originally introduced via J. August Richard's character, Mike Peterson, in the pilot. Three super soldiers broke a former Marine out of prison using their super strength, which automatically made S.H.I.E.L.D.'s spidey-sense tingle. It was, of course, discovered that these men had been altered with Extremis, and just like that we were talking about the main story arc again. The marine in question was the same man Raina was seen talking to at the end of "Girl in the Flower Dress." Naturally, the mission was to find these men, the marine, and the girl in the flower dress and find out what was up with the Centipede storyline once and for all.

Coulson decided to bring Peterson, who's been training with S.H.I.E.L.D. ever since he nearly destroyed Union Station, on board as extra support for this mission. Fighting fire with fire and all that jazz. I was all for this development, because I love Richards, and because it livened up the series a bit. But unfortunately, despite being the overarching Big Bad story for the entire season, we've really only scratched the surface of what this Centipede story even is. We're 10 episodes into Season 1 and I feel like we've made little to no progress on what should be one of the driving forces for the series. They're banging us over the head with Coulson's mysterious secret week after week, not to mention Skye's parentage mystery, but when it comes to the Centipede storyline, which affects all of the characters, not just Coulson or Skye, we only get an episode every once in awhile. That's not the best way to keep or grow an audience. And frankly, it's hurting the series a bit.

Who is behind the Centipede program? How can we stop them? Why do they need super soldiers? What are they planning on doing with the super soldiers? These are all questions we're supposed to care about and demand answers to, but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. hasn't done a very good job of making viewers care about them. As it stands, Centipede and the Girl in the Flower Dress are kind of just a recurring pain in the ass. If they're such a global threat, why not, I don't know, treat them as one?

I don't subscribe to the idea that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. should abandon all of the procedural elements of the series and stick to deeply serialized storytelling, but if the writers were to merge the two formats a bit more, the series would definitely succeed on more levels. And I think it would make the Centipede story feel more like the Big Bad story it's supposed to be. Right now the series is still at 85 percent procedural, 15 percent serialized. Skye's search for her parents is obviously important to her (or at least it was until May basically told her to grow the eff up and get over it), but is it more important to the overall success of the series than the season-long arc? The search for her parents definitely lends itself to character development, but only dedicating one out of every five episodes to the overarching story has definitely hurt the momentum of the series. And its created a weak, slightly mysterious enemy that no one cares much about.

All of that being said, I commend the series for Mike's ultimate betrayal of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the episode's final moments (even if he did attempt to right that wrong five minutes later). Because what I thought was going to be a mind-numbing ending to the mid-season finale—Mike's son is kidnapped and now he has to turn himself over in order to secure his safety—turned out to be a nice surprise when it was revealed that they didn't want Mike  (whose powers had been stabilized by the gun FitzSimmons created in the pilot), but Coulson. 

The episode zigged when I thought it would zag, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. isn't really a zigging kind of series. So bravo, S.H.I.E.L.D. writers, you snuck one by me. As setup episodes go, "The Bridge" was all right. Not great, but not bad either. But I don't think it needed to be great to be successful in its goals. Because now I find myself asking all kinds of questions, where as I was mostly just watching and reacting to the characters for the last few episodes (don't think I've forgotten about Handsome and May's one/tenth told backstories either, because I haven't, and I still want more). But now I've become involved in the story once again. 

Why do they want Coulson? Who wants Coulson? Is it because they know about his supposed resurrection, cloning, magical recuperation in Tahiti? Do they just want hotel recommendations? Or do they want to use him as leverage for something else? Coulson is suddenly interesting again in the wake of his kidnapping. And the Centipede storyline is interesting, and a big plot point, for the first time all season. I hope this means the series will be taking a more in depth look at this storyline when it returns. And that it isn't wrapped up in a neat bow within an episode. Keeping Coulson separated from the rest of the team for a little while is a good idea, because everyone will have to step up their game and become their own leaders (I foresee more of Handsome's backstory in our near future). And because the series really needed this push to break out of their one-and-done stories. Like I said, don't abandon the procedural elements, but better integrate the serialized ones, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be better off.


DECLASSIFIED CASE FILES


– May's reaction to Skye's search for her birth parents leads me to believe the growing theory that she's either A) the agent who brought her in, or B) her mother. I don't particularly like either of those, because zzzzzzz.

– Fitz and Simmons, I enjoyed your very silly reaction to Peterson, but I don't fully understand it. Did you both lose your brains? I know the last time you saw him he was ripping apart train stations and talking about wanting to be a hero, but you weren't this frazzled or enamored by him then.

– Were the explosions at the end really necessary?

– I need this May and Handsome stuff to go away, because I fear we're headed for more-than-just-sex territory and you know how I feel about that.

– The kill switch is back in action this week, which makes me never want to have a kill switch in my brain.  

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/16/2017

Season 4 : Episode 22

253 Comments
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So, I am going to cross this show of my weekly roaster. It's definitely not doing it for me. I would say that is an average show, profiting of having the names Marvel and Joss Whedon attached to it.
I don't feel any kind of emotion watching it. How could I explain it? It's not funny enough, has not enough action, lacks an interesting backstory... Being a Whedon fan since the Buffy times, I had such great expectations about this show and probably those names are working as much for as against the show.
It's a pity but when it takes someone like me more than a week to watch a mid-season finale, you know you are done.
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great episode but unfortunately the cliffhanger didn't make any sense. They should have stopped when everything exploded, that was shocking!! Why did the bad guys only shot Ward, everyone was outside the car in sight and they just shot the sniper?! Can't wait to figure out what the hell happened to Coulson in "Tahiti" :)
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Mid Season Finale Grade=B-
Had some action and a cliffhanger that got my attention, just good enough..but this show SHOULD be better than that!! I heard they are getting new team members ( EXCELSIOR!!) as Stan would say!!
Let's hope things start cracking!!
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Mike Peterson can actually act, so he was a welcome return for this episode and made it much stronger than other recent fare. He's also a character with (gasp!) some depth to him.

Ward dead? Golly, I sure hope so. And although Coulson being kidnapped worked for this episode, I fear it will only make future Coulson-less episodes more dull than they already have been even with him. We'll see.
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This was a great episode. It helped me realize that I really dig Coulson, but I dislike May (because of how she treated Skye--was that really necessary how she went about dealing with Skye?). Coulson, I think, would've been much more sympathetic.

Also, Mike's death really caught me off-guard and even made me a little sad. Let's hope he survives.
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I think May was this hard on Skye because she doesn't want her to find out that she was the one who dropped her at the orphanage
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The one good about the finale is that the stuff from the previous episodes are finally coming together. That said, im still feel meh on this show. I wanted to like it, but for some reason there isn't much for me to like. Sleepy hollow, another new show has been a surprise and gripped me from the start. It started off slow, but the eps have gotten better. They also have some stand alone eps, but they also have episodes that builds off each other than just take bits and throw them together like this show does. The only involvement whedon seems to have are the ending segments. Sure theres the occasional witty line, but it's been 10 eps, i should be more interested in at least most of the characters, not just 4 of the 6.
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Like most of the shows I choose to watch, I enjoy it. Do they at some point have weak episodes? Yes. Do I whine and complain? No. Writing is a tough gig. Sometimes, what goes down and looks good on paper never quite plays out the way you think it will. I'm willing to follow this path with them and see where they're heading.
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I think you're being a bit hard on the show. We've had 10 episode so far, three of which have been directly and clearly connected to the centipede storyline, And one that we now know is part of the centipede storyline, "Eye Spy." The things we learned about in that episode – the Killswitch Technology, that there is a group out there kidnapping people and sticking Killswitches is in their eyes to have them run various missions, and the existence of a group so powerful they were able to keep a SHIELD agent for several years - are all part of the centipede story. that means that 40% of the shows episodes so far this season have been about the series long arc.

one thing I really like about them retroactively adding that episode to the main arc is that it puts us in the same position as our heroes – suddenly realizing that we have more information about the group than we thought, and realizing that the they are more widespread and pervasive than we thought. They've also now tied the mystery behind Coulson resurrection to the Mainhart – not in the sense that centipede is responsible for it, but that they know it happened and want to know about it. What today – and Coulson – learn about it may tell us more about who they are and what they are after.

As for Skye's parents, I'd be very surprised if they went with May being either the agent who brought her in or her mother. I think it's more likely that her parents were agents who betrayed the agency – possibly getting someone May cared about killed in the process. That would explain why Coulson does not want her to know about them and why May is so angry.

Oh, and yes, the explosions were absolutely necessary :-) You can never have too many pretty explosions!
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I don't think May is Skye's mother either. It's more likely that May recognized the content of the redacted letter, having seen the original while she was in Admin. Coulson digging into the past could be detrimental to his life with SHIELD. I get the feeling that May feels that she owes Coulson. Debts are something she takes seriously.
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I really see them stepping up their game when the show comes back. Removing Coulson from the main equation was a really smart move and will definitely lend itself to some development for the show's weaker characters: May and Ward, especially since they'll have to grapple with the now-vacant role as team leader.

Mike's death at the end was a little gratuitous (he might not be dead, but it sure seemed like that was the suggestion), but otherwise, this was a decent episode. One that sets up a lot of possibilities moving forward.
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I wish I shared your confidence that this will bring the team together and get them to step it up. I'm afraid this is just going to accentuate how this show is MARVEL in name only. If a SHIELD special team leader gets captured by an evil organization, does anyone besides his team of poorly trained misfits notice? It's not like he's just Joe Agent on assignment. His disappearance will be of little note nor long remembered by the greater MARVEL universe, it will all be handled in the hermetically sealed transport plane.


I am confident that Mike was not killed by the explosion. He will be given another chance to redeem himself, despite Coulson saying there would be no further chances.
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Sorry to be spoiling things again but when did mid-season finales have to be so big and full of plot twists/exposition. Arrow's mid-season is being praised for all the awesome cliffhangers. I just hope the writers can catch all the balls on the way down (I'm a huge fan of arrow and hope they can..... but what if!) The comment from 'Layton2012' and others (sorry, not picking on you specifically but you're the name and the comment that got me committed) pretty much sums up my other rant about how we seem to hold current shows to a stricter standard than ever before.

This to me was a pretty standard episode of SHIELD (despite the 'not wrapping stories neatly in a bow' thing) and somehow this has either pushed people away who were defending or has brought some people closer. But I doubt they will tell us that much about Coulson in the new episode as some people are hoping/believing.

I honestly think that these ridiculous expectations of 'milestones' of a season/series need to be at least toned down if not eradicated or some shows like this that have potential (and let's face it, no matter how much people complain about this particular show they still watch) will be gutted before we can truly call them great.
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Maybe you're right, perhaps I'm being a bit harsh on the show and my expectations for what a show should do before going on an albeit brief hiatus. It is just that the show has only had a few episodes that I've really liked, and I was really hoping this episode would do something to wow me, and it didn't, and it is not that the episode was bad, but it just wasn't anything more than it has been in the past few weeks. I think I just have to accept the fact that this show, at least in its current form, is never going to be what I hoped when it was first announced ( and I never expected it to be a super hero show), and that is not to say it bad, just my confidence that it will one day be great is dwindling.
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even more to the point, when did such a beast as 'mid-season-finale' appear? They didn't used to have such things, the show would just go on a little holiday for a few weeks without any cliffhangers or other dumb shit.

I don't like it, they interfere with the story-telling and gets in the way of the shows overall development.
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While I've been a defender of the series from the get-go, this mid-season finale didn't do it for me. I was really hoping for a game changer that would spice up the series for the second half, and this wasn't it. It was nice to see Mike back, but other than that this episode didn't really seem to be anything special, except capturing Coulson, and "killing" Mike for no reason. While I agree abandoning the procedural may be a bad idea, I need the show to convince me to stay around, and these episodes aren't doing it for me.
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I'm with you, Kaitlin, I'm not into either theory about May, but I fear we are headed for one of those. I'd prefer that she's the agent that brought Skye in. Maybe she even had to kill Skye's parents or something - I would be okay with that theory. I really don't want a May/Skye mother/daughter thing. One of the reasons I'm so annoyed by this storyline is that it seems to me that May's hostility towards Skye has been very sudden. She didn't used to have such a problem with her. I get that it's probably the result of this investigation into Skye's parents, but it feels really forced. They just need to get to the bottom of it, soon.

And, I'm also wanting the May/Ward stuff to go away. And I didn't have a problem with it at all, at first, but, eh, I don't know - it's starting to seem to predictable. They start out just having sex, then one of them will want more, blah blah blah.

I've really enjoyed this show thus far; it's still one of my new favorites this season. But I agree they need to learn to balance the procedural aspects with the serialized stories better. It just seems like it took to long to circle back around to Centipede, and Coulson and Skye's storylines have been dragged out, too. As a result, we didn't get much of anything new in the midseason finale. Whatever they're planning to reveal about Coulsen when the show returns - it would have been better to reveal it here. Or reveal the secret about Skye's parents here. Something. A reveal, pushing any of those storylines along, would have been a better cliffhanger than Coulsen getting kidnapped. I am curious as to why they took him, but it's not like I'm super scared they're not going to get him back or anything.
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Did Ward get shot badly? Because that gun was awfully close.
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I dont know exactly why but I dont care for this show.
I absolutely loved Firefly. But this show is just bland as hell...
The set just looks too clean and well lit for my taste. That makes everything seem utterly fake. The actors were clearly hired because of their looks and not their acting skills. They just cant sell the scenes they are in.
The dialogues are usually unintetionally campy and the writing seems sloppy. The dramatic scenes always feel contrived and are acted out badly....

One scene sticked out from the last episode. What was with Agent Coulson and his weird handling of the steering-wheel while driving? Who the hell would drive like that? It was really offputting to watch that scene...

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I don't get the Firefly comparison. It's not the same team of writers, apart from Joss who practically didn't write anything for this.
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Haven't watched this show, i it reallyas bad as a lot of you guys say it is. Cause I see some of the same users that wrote good things on here about Under the Dome, so I'm trying to figure out how much I should trust your judgement cause there's a lot of shows and episodes to catch up on over the holiday break?
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It's not as bad as Under the Dome, but it's still not good either.
I've given up on Under the Dome. I'm of the same mind with this show for now.
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Well, if you don't trust anyone's judgment here - and I don't blame you, how can you trust the judgment of people over the internet you don't even know - why bother asking? I like this show a lot; it's not perfect, but I really enjoy it. I'm a big Whedon fan though; I pretty much love everything he does.
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I wonder why I even watch this show anymore. The writing is sloppy, the plots predictable, acting weak as hell. Seriously I don't think Joss reads any of the scripts!! The cgi is bad, the references to the cinematic universe are pointless. The show is just boring. Watched this episode and the mid season episode of Arrow, and the two shows are light years apart! You can do a great superhero show, just put some effort into it!!!
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Anyone watching enough of these shows knows that they tend to serialize later into the series. Look at Fringe. It's too early to expect it to serialize more. They need to spend time building up backstory, especially with so many characters to introduce. We're not even half-way through the first season. Wait more until the end of the season and the beginning of the second.

Unfortunately, too many of these shows start out as interesting episodic shows and become dull serialized shows. SHIELD's still trying to make it through it's first year; it can't afford to risk turning away viewers with a major shift in format yet.

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That's fine, but the procedural episodes need to be good. That's the only reason I kept watching Fringe, Person of Interest and the likes.
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This was a good episode, but there needs to be more like this...waaay too slow so far.
-May brought her in for sure.
-May and Agent Boring= not interesting. Echh....there setting up a love triangle no1 wants w/ mischevious hacker...
-I hope we find out what happened to Coulson next episode already!
-The wonder twins need to hook up...
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I have not seen any numbers. But I would assume that this show is loosing viewers with every episode. For me the problem is that the show has no main character, no main story. Is the plot really about us following a hacker joining SHIELD so she can learn more about her parents? If it is, then the plot has barley moved at all. And that is not a Marvel story I would sign up to watch. It's as if Stan Lee was writing the show himself. It's just too goofy in todays age. I believe veiwers would want a darker story.
I think I was hoping for a story about a Nikita/Dark Angel character. A Black Canary, if you will, that can kick ass without super powers. A tripple agent. Maybe saved from HYDRA, trained by SHIELD. Would be able to give us lots of flashbacks, just like Arrow is doing very well.
I want more threats from villan organisations like AIM, HYDRA and so on (maybe even Brotherhood of Mutants). Give SHIELD a reason to exist.
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In other words you want Spider-Woman in the show, can't say I disagree (as I'd love to see the character in any film/tv) but as many have rightly said, this show isn't about the heroes, it's about the SHIELD people in the background. That said if they introduced her MCU version as just an agent w/o powers and added the powers later that could work, and it's something I'd like to see too :)
In fact back b4 the show started when it looked like the super-powered character (Mike) seen in the trailers was Luke Cage, I was hoping that Skye's real name would turn out to be Jessica Jones and similarly get powers later (we now know both LC & JJ as well as IF and DD r coming to us via Netflix shows)
(And I know you said about w/o powers but what you described IS Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman)'s backstory/character and it'd be a disservice to the character to co-opt that for some character created for the show)

Also, I must say that I don't need the show to be "darker" dark and camp are not mutually exclusive things, increasing or decreasing one need not affect the other (Xena is probably the best example of succeeding at both with regularity), and bad writing (which I'd say is this show's greatest offense)=/=camp, the show just needs better writing :/
Also, I don't like Arrow...at all :( so no I'm glad this show isn't that, but I agree I want to see the "centipede" people turn out to be AIM, and I want some SHIELD v HYDRA stuff!

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They ratings have declined nearly every episode, it's actually kind of disheartening to watch. Granted, I can't really blame those tuning out, because it's really not doing anything to improve.
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I only watched the 1st two episodes and thought it couldn't get worst... I'm happy I didn't give it more attention.
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well it didn't get worse, and some eps have actually been better with "FZZT" as still the stand-out in my mind, but mostly it's just kind of floundering :/
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Yea, floundering is a good word. FZZT and the The Hub were my stand-out favorites. The others have all been pretty mediocre.
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People gotta chill out. Angel didn't really break out of the procedural stuff until near the end of season 1, though it's characters were a bit better and there were more laughs. It's gonna pick up though. It's a Whedon show! Have faith.
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100% agree. While Angel took a bit to find it's identity apart from Buffy. When Alexis Denisof came in it really started to click and when they really went into the Wolf Ram and Heart (Wolfram and Hart) storyline... seasons 2 and 3 were some of the most addicting story arcs I have ever seen.
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I always preferred season 4. That got grim! Just when you thought it couldn't get worse it did. Just remembered I need to watch that again. lol
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That was the Cordy pregnancy and Jasmine arc, right? I loved all 5 seasons, but the Connor stuff started to really chap my ass.
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Yeah. The eps with the beast, angelus and faith made it worth it though.
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Staff
Figured out what SHIELD needs to improve itself: Hire Matt Nix to run the show. While it suffered from too many conspiracy layers, Burn Notice balanced the procedural and piece meal serialization that SHIELD clearly wants to have better than SHIELD has demonstrated it can do so far.

And that's my armchair studio executiving for the week.
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What about Tim Minear (Firefly)?
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I like it. Jeffery Donovan would make a pretty sweet villain as well.
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He would.
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It's an interesting idea, and until the last season Burn Notice did certainly strike a proper balance between procedural and serialization.

Burn Notice started on the right foot though, it defined the characters, it conveyed why the heroes were alone in a small group, it identified the goals of the heroes, and it conveyed why then overarching antagonists were intentionally left vague. MAoS has none of that foundational legwork in its favor, it's already stuck with poorly-defined characters and character motivations and group dynamics, it suffers a lack of goals and motivations. Matt Nix saw where Burn Notice was going because he created it, he didn't have a corporate groupthink mentality holding him back and an executive producer whose stamp identified a quality the show couldn't live up to, he didn't have to protect other projects from interfering and being interfered with by his show. And his power was absolute because it was a low-risk show, USA Network doesn't need stellar ratings and there wasn't a big effects budget on Burn Notice.

Until MAoS's foundation gets repaired - something Joss Whedon is always quick to point out when he's in screen-doctor mode - I really don't think any producer/showrunner can salvage this mess. And when I say "foundation", I mean EVERYTHING, there is one single element this show has on its side: Coulson. Everybody and everything else is lost in a sea of vaguery.
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All of that is dead-on. Though Nix still managed to blow up things real well even with the lower budget. Imagine what he could do with network action show cash!

The flipside of my idea is that even if Nix was brought on, or, hell, Whedon came on full-time (not going to happen any time soon), is that the "corporate groupthink mentality" that is likely also holding SHIELD back. Between Marvel, Disney, and (let's be honest here) Jeph Loeb as their representative, there's too many cooks in that kitchen, cooks that have far more influence than Whedon and Tancharoen (who, again, let's be honest here, probably aren't the most comfortable with the more procedural-focus in the first place if Dollhouse was any indication (though maybe their episodes of Drop Dead Diva were good...?)).

At the same time, I think the foundation is fixable to a large degree, though in my mind it involves scuttling one of FitzSimmons, and replacing Ward outright with a different agent, if he needs a replacement at all. Larger narrative structural issues, I think, are more easily repairable once there's a clearer sense of what the show is wanting to do (80s action-adventure throwback with neat characters...), as you discussed back in the Arrow comment thread. But this gets us back into the vision quagmire of showrunners and intense corporate interest.

Okay, yeah, it's doomed. Never mind. Shut it down.
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Thank you. Propane costs next to nothing when doing a big orange explosion in practical effects, Matt Nix knew it was wise to use a lot of propane and a little glass and twisted metal. It reminds me of Robert Rodriguez's philosophy on making mid-budget movies, how the studios micromanage big-budget films to ensure maximum return yet ignore a proven moviemaker who can spend $25 mil to make $75 mil guaranteed, no matter what he does. It's the Matt Nixes and Robert Rodriguezes of the world that get to do new things well, while shows like MAOS languish under the weight of their big budget masters. I was expecting Joss Whedon to step in and flex some of that muscle, but he's busy and handed it over to his brother and sister-in-law.

I like your thinking on ditching one of FitzSimmons, they remind me of the 2 keyboard jockeys on NCIS:LA except without an authority figure to play off of. They're fun characters each, but they are a repetitive note and terrible field agents, so they don't get to do much.

I really don't understand Ward's role in the series, he seems to be Coulson Junior minus the skill and nuance, all I get out of him is that he's an actual "agent of SHIELD" which this show is sorely lacking. The show needs 1 suit and a bunch of specialists, or 1 senior suit and 2 junior suits and a bunch of specialists, but instead it's 2 suits and that leads to overlap that weighs it down, especially when Ward is not charismatic or interesting enough to carry us past that.

"Larger narrative structural issues, I think, are more easily repairable once there's a clearer sense of what the show is wanting to do (80s action-adventure throwback with neat characters...), as you discussed back in the Arrow comment thread. But this gets us back into the vision quagmire of showrunners and intense corporate interest. Okay, yeah, it's doomed. Never mind. Shut it down."
Yup, it's basically begging to be torn down to the studs and rebuilt, and I just don't think there's enough juice anywhere in the system behind this show to make that happen right. Arrow clearly can get away with such things, it's done so twice now as it hones that character down, but the difference is that there is a central character and a central goal there which is lacking here - and that whole sentence was just to toss it back to conversation in the other article. ;-)
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If I can add to this fun "we can make the show better than the execs" thing, I'd say that Fitz should be "killed" and come back as a villain, and kill Ward (for real!)
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Staff
Yes! Burn Notice is actually a great example. It frustrates me that SHIELD can't seem to figure out how to balance the two.
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Also: Skye's father is obviously Red from Blacklist. IT'S JUST TOO OBVIOUS.
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That man gets around. Unprotected cross-network sexing. Sassy!
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I want to really like this show, but at this point, I'm only a little past tolerating it. Outside of FitzSimmons...there's no personality or charisma. There's no big bad to root against. There's no one hero to root for. There's no love interest to watch flourish. Nada.

When this series started, I figured it would be budget concerns that would be it's undoing. I suppose that could still be true but if the writing and casting team don't light a fire, rating are surely gonna drop and the big budget locations, sets and effects are gonna start becoming and issue.

C'mon SHIELD!!!
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Can't wait for the remaining episodes. We need more of this not procedural crap.
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I actually generally liked this episode. Though, I don't see why they had to kill Mike. That was completely unnesserary.
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I'm more concerned with Ward being shot... Did he die or is he fine? Also I'm thinking Coulson has something to do with Skye's parents. He always seems to be really empathetic towards her... And they have that seemingly throwaway conversation about the Cellist girl that Coulson was with. And the line about dating inside SHIELD: "It's never a good idea, I know from experience" or something along the lines of that...
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I knew he would be fine, they would have made his death way more dramatic.
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He's def alive in the promo for the next episode, so don't worry too much.
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He might not be dead.
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Theory: Skye was the result of a drunken early-90s SHIELD Christmas party copy room one night stand between Coulson and May. Surely I can't be the only one with this opinion in mind.
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That will be the worst possible scenario IMO
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You're not. I don't know if I'd be shocked in a good or bad way if that were the case.
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I'm always glad to get more of an arc though I admit this one is not very exciting so far and the way Girl in the Flowered Dress acts, like she's constantly high, gets on my nerves.
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Is she trying (poorly) to channel Root from Person of Interest?
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I didn't like the episode.Maybe it's because i think that Peterson is boring or cause the writers didn't reveal anything new about the main story.

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I was really glad to get back to the Centipede/Super Soldier/whatever-else-these-people-do, and I agree I would like to see them become a more involved element in the series. I'm a bigger fan of serialized fare, so the sooner we get away from procedural episodes all the time, the happier I'll be.

So glad to see Richards come back, I've loved him ever since his first appearance in Angel, and I'm hoping he might be something of a recurring guest on the show.

Lastly, Simmons' getting all oogly over Mike had me laughing pretty damn hard.
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Let's see. We've seen espisodes referenced to Iron Man 3, a.k.a Extremis. Thor with The Berzerker. Super soldier serum for the upcoming Captain America:Winter Soldier due in May. So beginning of Season 2 (If it makes it). Will we see episodes about the Guardians of the Galaxy?
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Thought I saw the Infinity Gauntlet in the January preview...I could be wrong though.
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Interesting episode. I hope that in the second half of the season they focus on revealing the back stories of characters. I would like to better understand what makes them, well them.

I hope the writers don't go the route of May being Skye's mother, that would just be a bit to soapy for me. Making May somehow related/involved in Skye's appearance (if done/written well) could reveal some emotion(more than has been shown) from May. Both characters could benefit from some emotional upheaval.

Again, I don't mind the Ward/May pairing. Two emotionally stunted individuals dealing with moving on from their past experiences while fighting "evil". It's not so squeaky clean or perfect that it could work. Honestly the idea to pair Ward with Skye just seems too predictable, a bit of a snooze fest.

Excited to see what the show will bring us when it returns!!
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couldn't have said it better myself :)
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May is the one who brought Skye in. May was responsible for her parents' disappearance. Why were Fitz-Simmons so enamored by J.A. Richards? He's great and all, but I did not get the whole going gaga over him. The explosions were a distraction, like smoke bombs, but since they are going on winter break, they had to end it with a bang (pun intended). Never liked Handsome, but May and Handsome is even worse. End it, yesterday. I thought it would end when AH took the punch for May. Fitz-Simmons should develop a scanner/blocker for it. I know they said that this one was even more advanced, but still. FS can figure out something.

p.s. I hate winter breaks.
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I agree. I think May was at least the one who dropped her off. My theory is that Skye's parents might have been involved with that incident that May was apparently scarred over.
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They weren't as enamored with him until he told them that they were the ones who found the cure for he serum overheating and exploding. After that they were floating on air around him.
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I feel conflicted it is a good episode but I still feel this series could be so much more.
And I think Fitz and Simmons were just so funny this episode, damn I really love those two.
The explosions at the end were a nice touch made it all more exciting.
May needs more conversation moments! she just looks like a mad robot, please (I think) I need more of her!
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Im hesitant to ask for more of her, since I kind of just want more FitzSimmons. I could literally just watch a show of them. They could cut the budget down by just filming those two in the lab and casually referencing the missions that the others go on. It'd be like Bones, except with amazing accents, better chemistry and a flying lab.
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I liked the episode. My biggest problem with it is...WTH there was no custody for the kid? A kid is an obvious leverage. Also, if there was no one taking care of him in the first place, why they didn't send one after the bad guys killed the super soldier with the eye thing? It was obvious they had seen Mike!!
I hope Mike is alive. I don't care about Skye's parents or Ward trying to be gallant for May. And I think Clairvoyant is the Vision. The names refers to see, so it fits.
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I'd say Mad Thinker=most likely
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I give up.
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It was pretty good. I hope Gun comes back, mostly because I feel that a super hero or a light super hero is something that it lacks. The other thing that needs to be addressed is the lack of back up. Clearly this was a time when they needed back up. I know that takes a lot of the budget up but it needs to be addressed.

Coulson being taken was pretty good for the story to progress.

However, other than Fitz and Simmons I am still having a tough time relating to the other characters or at least liking them enough to care about their plots.
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IMO, the Fitz and Simmons episodes (FZZT and The Hub) were the two best episodes so far. They're the only reason I care about FitzSimmons, and honestly the ones that have kept me watching.
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This review seems to come on a bit thick. A lot of things like "its created a weak, slightly mysterious enemy that no one cares much about" and "frankly, it's hurting the series a bit" seem to be a bit strong. On both of these occasions the reviewer states these almost as facts rather than opinion which seems wrong.

Maybe we've been spoiled by very story driven shows with shortened seasons, Maybe people have just over-hyped this in their own minds before hand, I dunno. But it seems to me that we are judging shows far too strongly these days. If they put all there cards down from the get go there would be no mystery, yet people complain when it's dragged out. If we as an audience judged some shows from only 10-20 years ago as we currently do then we wouldn't have some of the best shows that we've had.

Supernatural flounders around for weeks before giving us anything, Fringe did it (I love the show but let's face it), Smallville, hell, even shows like Desperate Housewives did it.

The answers will come and I don't care when. I've really enjoyed some of the case of the week stuff (the only one I didn't care for was the Thor tie-in but maybe I missed something) and I only hope that people will stop being so nitpicky about the faults and see the good points.

PS. Sorry for the length (kudos if you stuck with me) but this is a trend I've felt throughout this current TV season.
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Didn't think I would get any thumbs up (let alone as many as I've gotten), I expected angry responses. Thanks people! I thought I was the only one who thought this, good to know I'm not.
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The Coulson mystery deepens. I reckon he is a clone or nanites brought him back. Simmons was adorable when she got horny, lol. May was a bit of a bitch this ep.
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Okay, I've refrained from judging this series until now. I think it's reasonable to wait until the mid-season finale for that. My issue now is that the series is developing plot holes on the level of the first season of Revolution. Primarily: how freaking dumb are these high-level trained SHIELD agents?? Take Ward, whose job in the last few minutes of the episode is to be sniper cover for the exchange. Great, have no problem with that. Where does he position himself? In the exact spot where his entire line of sight is blocked by a massive oil truck. Seriously? I'm not even army trained and I'm not *that* level of inept. I just feel like this is a problem running through the whole thing at the moment: it feels like a dumb show. From Marvel and Whedon, people expect something with a bit more intelligence and depth.

From my perspective, I think the show can stand to lose Ward in this fracas. Imagine the impact that has on the team: May and Skye's emotional attachments to him shattered. FitzSimmons' reaction. Coulson's likely guilt at not protecting his team. Would be the perfect development tool. Then bring J August Richards in as a series regular to replace him. The show needs a character with powers, despite the angle that it's a show about 'ordinary agents', and he fits the bill. I think if they want to compete with Arrow's levels of quality, something like this needs to happen.

Anyone else get the feeling that Joss doesn't seem to have much involvement in the writing of the show? It doesn't feel like a Joss Whedon piece. Especially when you see what he did with a couple of scenes in Thor 2. Wonder if he needs to get more directly involved in developing this one or just step back altogether.
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Joss is pretty much not involved in the show at all, at least in terms of writing. The only episode he got a writing credit for was the pilot.
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Totally agree. That sniper position thing annoyed me no end.
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I don't think they need to abandon the procedural aspect either, but I'd like to have the series more clearly define who the various factions are and what their goals are more succintly, have all that take place in a universe that feels more whole and reactive to the factions. Basically, this level-7-led team is aimlessly flying around looking for vague kinds of trouble, none of which really feels like it's leading anywhere or coming from anywhere, and certainly not epitomizing SHIELD and its agents in any way.

Mike's big twist was a non-starter for me, the whole episode the Centipede faction is bitching and moaning about this SHIELD team interfering with their nebulous works to something the somewhere with someone, of course they were going to turn the guy who is barely keeping it together and had minimal training and loyalties. What's really surprising is that Coulson walked into the trap. Mike getting blown up, assuming he didn't survive of course because why wouldn't he except the show wanted us to think so, was telegraphed in his conversation with Skye anyway, so the twist was twistless.

You know what really distracted me? How there's no way in hell this show's interior sets can fit into the body of that plane. Coulson comes down a spiral staircase to a lower level where the walls curve upwards as if it's in the upper half of the plane still, yet the back of the plane barely holds an SUV's height, is this thing another TARDIS? Serenity's layout made perfect sense, this makes none.
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1. GUNN IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SQUEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I totally understand Simmons' (who I absolutely love. She's my favorite regular of S H I E L D) reaction when she saw him. If I were on her place I would probably swoon with delight.

2. Poor Skye :( May was really mean to her. I also suspect May is either Skye's mom or her mom's best friend.

3. I can't wait till May breaks up with Grant. She deserves a better partner. Also can someone please kill Grant? I hate that guy.

4. As always I loved May's action scenes - they're very Girl Power :)

5. I really hope GUNN didn't die and he will return to the show.

I can't wait for next episode. 2014 can't come soon enough!
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May might be (may be but if I wrote May may be ... I'll lost people on the road::). So May might be Skye mother or the person who killed Skye's mother (to choose I would choose the 2nd one) but I think she was hard on Skye because she doesn't want to be involved. And I think she doesn't want to be involved because she's an honest and straight person and she doesn't want to lie to Skye in contrary of Coulson.
But I don't think she's Skye's mother or mother's killer with the reaction she had when Coulson showed her the redacted files about Skye's parents.
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I offered my big opinion earlier, but you are so right on the Centipede thing. My dad was big into science fiction when I was growing up and so he introduced me to Star Trek in all its forms, I think he championed me enjoying Hercules and Xena, he was waiting for me to get into the books he read (I tried Dad, but Robert Jordan et all are too much for me), but he never really got me into comics or comic books. I mean, he was fine with the Sunday comics. My mother was decided anti almost all cartoons, like, hated them, would heckle most of them if she found us watching them, etcetera (Alvin and the Chipmunks were some sort of exception). So basically, I have no real basis of the Marvel universe. I have watched Buffy et al devoutly, and the point of those was that you addressed the big bad at least every other episode until the second half of the season where it creeped in more and more until you were relieved when you got the standalones. I mean, the angst of Supernatural will take over its second half now. Freaking S.T.A.R. labs has been mentioned IN EVERY EPISODE! You need to pull an audience in.
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"turned out to be a nice surprise when it was revealed that they didn't want Mike (whose powers had been stabilized by the gun FitzSimmons created in the pilot), but Coulson. "

I like how they hinted at it earlier. When PO saw the video of Mike and Coulson together, he said, "Mike has what we need for Stage 3." Tricky and misleading there on the writer's part, but literally truth.
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That's also the main reason I assume Mike's "death" was faked and they caught him too (if they have a clairvoyant who can "predict" all but Coulson as this ep seemed to assert, then "knowing" that Mike'd run back and using that to capture him to figure out Stage 3 makes too much sense not to do [course the show's plotting has disappointed me before...])
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Ugh, the second they mentioned they would use "an odourless scent" to track Mike, I switched this off. The writing on this is so dumb that I find it hard to believe Whedon's involved with this, and I'm speaking as a fanboy who has adored everything he has done until this show.
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good episode and should be interesting to see where it goes.
Now, time for the haters to complain. Go ahead, you know you want too.
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I don't know why but I am always underwhelmed by S.H.I.E.L.D's episodes and characters... whether it is the dialogues or the plot... or the acting... My expectations were high to begin with, but after all this time I'd like to think that I'd see the error in my ways... sigh!!

"He's standing right behind me isn't he?" ---- really???
And the course on women.... I know they wanted to show Ward and Coulson connect on a more mundane and normal level -- did it get too mundane? or did they overshoot mundane and go to snoozefest!
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"Wow, I bet I'm the first person to EVER think of that line!" --the script writer, enthusiastically
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Lol... I know... I get the same feeling with a ton of other lines on this show...
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And while I'm thinking about it, having so many villains so far be controlled by the eye device is a cop-out. This show needs to create villains who believe in their causes enough to do such bad things. Having Raina, the girl in the flower dress, be just another powerless pawn takes away any real impact for investing in her character.
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What does Raina have to do with it? Nobody ever said SHE has one of the eye implants. She seems like a "true believer", just like you wanted.
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They implied in last night's episode that she's as much under duress due to the eye implants as the rest of the villains.
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On the Shield plane discussing the mission they mention when Po was arrested it was in a steakhouse for killing his comrade by stabbing his eyes out and then proceeding to slowly finish his meal. This was what he threatened Raina with over her curiosity with the mysterious Clairvoyant. Throughout the episode his slow meal eating was meant to be menacing I guess such as the steak scene with Raina not long after his escape.
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Yeah, as the other people mentioned, it's because of why Poe went to jail, not because of an implant.
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They implied they would put the eye implant into her, actually. "Wouldn't want to get that pretty eye cut." Cut as in surgery. Otherwise he would have said pop, or explode or something.
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Not necessarily... his back story was that he stabbed a guy in the eye and that's how he ended up in jail. I took it as related to that.
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I didn't get that impression. She seemed to be sucking up/flirting/seducing Po, and trying to get info on the Clairvoyant to oust Po and/or move up in the ranks. I didn't associate that with being under duress.
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Poe mentioned that he'd hate for her pretty eyes to get messed up, or something like that.
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*starts to agree with you, but then the eye device explodes and he dies*
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"We need a hero, let's bring in the guy who is both a trainee and has ties that can be exploited." So sets up the rather dubious premise for this episode, that they want to stop Centipede so badly that they bring back the guy from the pilot and nobody else. I liked the guy from the pilot, but damn if his ties to Centipede and his son didn't automatically doom this mission from the start, making this an incredibly predictable episode.

As for the rest of the characters, May and Ward's relationship already has become the thing worth hating as May called Ward out on something because she misread (or he's lying). Skye once again is splitting her interests and acting like a petulant child. And Coulson is in perpetual frowny-face mode right up until he's taken by the bad guys.

Coulson and Ward had a few moments of interesting while driving down the street (and apparently the steering on Lola is shot, because Coulson is driving on a straight street and blowing through stop signs while wildly yanking the wheel hither and yon), but they served to show Ward is still kind of green as an agent.

Also there was a "big fight scene" that looked terrible and was boring. So, basically it was MAOS as usual.
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So you'll avoid watching Almost Human because of it's clairvoyant aspects and iffy science but you'll continue to watch this show with a flying car that travels on a plane?
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I've stopped watching Almost Human because it presented itself as sci-fi only to turn out to be brainless on even a police procedural level - it's a bad police drama as well as bad sci-fi, it's shallow and boring and has the feel of something destined to be canceled, watching that last one felt hopeless.
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I hated the car driving sequence if only because it was a "Wow. There are courses devoted to women now?! Man. Crazy times." scene, which I thought we had pretty much moved past as a thing. Of course, this episode also had a "He's standing right behind me" moment, so I guess I should just lower that bar some more.
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I hated that car driving scene because it was probably one of the worst I've seen lately. And not to be petty (JK I love being petty), but Coulson totally blew through a four-way stop.
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I gave that dialogue a light pass because it reminded me of the outdated dialogue one could actually find in comic books. Back in the day, everything from Archie to Zatanna had references that were woefully out of touch with modern times and modern sensibilities. Comic books were generally written by middle-aged guys who were years behind the times - how many hippies appeared in the pages of Archie Comics through the '70s and '80s? It was pretty dumb though, and then that whole "let's go to the university" storyline was a pointless nothing so why bother making a big deal over it?

Heh, I had tried to forget the awful cliche that was "oh, he's standing right behind me" moment. The whole time I wanted Ward to say something clever or twist that, "yeah I know he's there, but I'm getting this out of the way now."
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"oh, he's standing right behind me" only works with Gibbs on NCIS. prob b/c Gibbs is in-universe acknowledged as a memetic badass and the show backs that assertion up successfully
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Seriously true, Gibbs gets away with this gag because it's his thing on NCIS. Also, I still can't picture Ward being concerned with stating the truth about the guy, it's not like Mike Peterson is his boss or even his equal.
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I remember Archie saying "dig it" in newly-produced stories as late as 1997.
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It's as though the writers never bother to read any Nick Fury, agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. comics before starting the show. It's supposed to be a spy organization that makes the NSA/CIA/FBI look like a quilting circle. They almost never use their infrastructure, the only tech toys they have are assembled on the spot by Fitz-Simmons. It's like they live in an aquarium and no nothing of the world outside their airplane. If there wasn't such big money behind this thing, it would be cancelled.

Wasn't Whedon supposed to be bringing his trademarked witty dialogue and sly cultural references to this mix? Is he saving them for later, or is that pool now full of algae and used beer cans?
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the prob is that Whedon is barely even involved in this show, so no I don't expect to see tm Whedon humor. But that's not b/c he's lazy per se it's b/c the PTB tacked his name onto this just to give it that publicity boost (sadly seems to have worked, given how many keep saying that this is his show)
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Can we have a guest role for Malcolm Reynolds, please?
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This really shouldn't bother me this much but seeing as I actually grew up in Ohio I feel the need to point out that no University of Ohio exists. I also go to Ohio University, which may be what they were referring to? It just bugs me a lot.
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At least the scenes of then driving in Cleveland looked like Cleveland. And what is with Joss and Cleveland? I've never heard him talk about any connections to the city but it seams to come up in his work. They have their own Hellmouth! As for the fake University of Ohio, it doesn't bother me nearly as much as Supernatural's portrayal of Canton, Ohio. They made it look like Mayberry. There are plenty of towns in Ohio that look like Mayberry, Canton is not one of them.
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Ugh. Yes. I know they do it all the time but it does bother me, especially when it references an Ohio one. I don't think they're gonna get sued for a trademark violation or anything.
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I'm from Columbus, so that bothered the hell out of me even though I know it's done all the time.
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That's done a lot in Fiction... make up a similar University (or organization) that doesn't exist.
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From the moment they mentioned 'getting him', I knew it was going to be Coulson, so I wasn't surprised by the ending. I'm actually even excited for it, since we will more than likely find out about what happened to Coulson. This episode was actually really good! I love the moments of canon they throw in (like Coulson talking about his cellist
I don't completely understand May's hostility towards Skye. I know she has always had some animosity towards her, but in this episode she looked ready to stab her through the eye. Simmons was hilarious with her blatant appreciation of Mike.. I couldn't help but agree with her.

I'm looking forward to the show's return and finding out just what happened to Coulson. Maybe after he's rescued he can take an actual vacation!
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Episodes like this would pack more of an emotional punch if I felt at all connected to Skye, Ward or May. Ward shot? Who cares. Skye sobbing? Oh well. I know they'll get Coulson back, so I'm not even concerned there. If anything, I'm glad they took him so we can finally get some answers.

Now, if Fitz or Simmons were shot, taken or sobbing? Whole other story, since I actually care about those two thanks to the two best episodes so far.
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